Theranostics 2016; 6(12):2183-2195. doi:10.7150/thno.17140

Research Paper

Deficiency of ATP6V1H Causes Bone Loss by Inhibiting Bone Resorption and Bone Formation through the TGF-β1 Pathway

Xiaohong Duan1✉*, Jin Liu1*, Xueni Zheng1*, Zhe Wang1, Yanli Zhang1, Ying Hao1, Tielin Yang2, Hongwen Deng3

1. State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Department of Oral Biology, Clinic of Oral Rare and Genetic Diseases, School of Stomatology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, People's Republic of China.
2. Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Ministry of Education, and Institute of Molecular Genetics, School of Life Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, People's Republic of China.
3. School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
*Contributed equally to this work.


Vacuolar-type H +-ATPase (V-ATPase) is a highly conserved, ancient enzyme that couples the energy of ATP hydrolysis to proton transport across vesicular and plasma membranes of eukaryotic cells. Previously reported mutations of various V-ATPase subunits are associated with increased bone density. We now show that haploinsufficiency for the H subunit of the V1 domain (ATP6V1H) is associated with osteoporosis in humans and mice. A genome-wide SNP array analysis of 1625 Han Chinese found that 4 of 15 tag SNPs (26.7%) within ATP6V1H were significantly associated with low spine bone mineral density. Atp6v1h+/- knockout mice generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 technique had decreased bone remodeling and a net bone matrix loss. Atp6v1h+/- osteoclasts showed impaired bone formation and increased bone resorption. The increased intracellular pH of Atp6v1h+/- osteoclasts downregulated TGF-β1 activation, thereby reducing induction of osteoblast formation but the bone mineralization was not altered. However, bone formation was reduced more than bone resorption. Our data provide evidence that partial loss of ATP6V1H function results in osteoporosis/osteopenia. We propose that defective osteoclast formation triggers impaired bone formation by altering bone remodeling. In the future, ATP6V1H might, therefore, serve as a target for the therapy of osteoporosis.

Keywords: osteoporosis, V-ATPase, osteoclasts, ATP6V1H, CRISPR/Cas9, TGF-β1, pH, RANKL, OPG.

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How to cite this article:
Duan X, Liu J, Zheng X, Wang Z, Zhang Y, Hao Y, Yang T, Deng H. Deficiency of ATP6V1H Causes Bone Loss by Inhibiting Bone Resorption and Bone Formation through the TGF-β1 Pathway. Theranostics 2016; 6(12):2183-2195. doi:10.7150/thno.17140. Available from